Human-Centered Design Summit in India

Module Overview

India is a study in contrasts. One of the world’s fastest developing economies, it is also one of the world’s oldest living civilizations. Sky-rocketing growth is often juxtaposed against a landscape of challenges. Infrastructure, rural development, healthcare, the environment, gender empowerment, education, and many more domains are just some of the areas worthy of attention.
A combination of workshops and ethnographic immersions explore the challenges faced by people in rural India. Students are immersed in local communities and observe their life at close quarters. Intellectual and emotional connections are immediately formed with the prevailing issues, and students have a unique opportunity to put theory into practice in a hands-on scenario. Intense learning, cultural engagement and emotional bonds help students deploy a human-centered design approach 

in offering sustainable solutions and pragmatic prototypes that address the situation at hand and which support the community.


The summit begins in a major metro city such as Mumbai, New Delhi or Bangalore. This gives the students an opportunity to get oriented with the country and its cultural nuances via lectures, workshops, and language and cultural immersion activities. Once acclimated, the students move into a rural setting where they are immersed ethnographically in the environment of a rural community. In this manner, they observe the local lifestyle at close quarters and work on designs and prototypes, sharing their work with the community and eliciting feedback. The summit finally shifts back to an urban setting where the students have an opportunity to reflect upon what they have learned and accomplished.

Key Elements of the Program

  • Lectures and workshops by human-centered design experts.
  • Interaction with inspiring social entrepreneurs working to create sustainable impact in local communities.
  • Community living and engagement that offer a deep ethnographic immersion experience.
  • Interviews with local community leaders who help students understand the social, economic, political and cultural context.
  • Language sessions to help students build a basic vocabulary to engage with local communities.
  • Facilitated reflection sessions with experienced professionals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Cultural immersions to experience and understand the local landscape, context and culture.
  • Output-driven curriculum and structure.

Educational Outcomes

Personal and Professional Skills:

The program gives students an opportunity to work together as a team in an ethical manner, and to take professional accountability. Leadership, creativity, innovation and a proactive working approach in the context of an international setting leads to tremendous growth.

Application Skills:

Students gain insight into the depth and complexity of factors that contribute to a specific development scenario, and demonstrate a work approach that is appropriate in that context.

Practical Knowledge:

Students have an opportunity to critically analyze various development approaches and collaborate to form opinions and make recommendations on appropriate action.

Human-Centered Design:

The summit provides an opportunity for participants to gain an understanding of human-centered design principals that can be applied, and recommendations devised to enhance the community.

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Students learn to identify problems and opportunities, and validate them with the relevant stakeholders. They can think through hypotheses and solutions that will suit the context and produce a result that is usable and replicable in the community.

Cross-Cultural Competence:

The summit encourages students to engage effectively with people from different cultures.

Purpose and Clarity:

The summit generates a deeper clarity of purpose that results in personal and professional growth.

Interpersonal Skills:

It generates a deeper clarity of purpose that results in personal and professional growth.

Module Length

  • The summit ranges from a minimum of 2 weeks to a maximum of 4 weeks.
  • Longer programs will involve a larger scope and/or additional locations.


Stays are in comfortable guesthouses or hotels.

Transport is by plane or train for intercity transfers and air-conditioned coaches for intra-city movement.

Featured Cultural Experiences

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Dharavi visit

The world’s largest “slum” in the heart of Mumbai, is a thriving micro-economy. Engage with residents, social workers and entrepreneurs to learn more.

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Cultural tour of South Mumbai

South Mumbai is not only a beautiful part of the city, it is also steeped in history and is the ideal location to get a feel for the pulse of the Indian economy.

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Cultural tour of Old Delhi

There are eight cities of Delhi. Looted, plundered and rebuilt, Delhi rises like a phoenix from the ashes each time. Old Delhi is not only architecturally amazing, it’s also a socio-economic miracle.

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Trek to Triund Peak (near Dharamshala)

Mountain culture offers a fantastic insight into the resilience and ingenuity of its residents.

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Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati

Retrace the footsteps of the Mahatma and learn what motivated and inspired him as a leader to fight for what he believed in.

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Cricket match with locals

Be a sport and pit your wits against the locals. Cricket is much more than just a game – it’s a sport with a deep historic connect.

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Dressing up in local costumes

In India, costume has enormous significance as different styles of headgear, types of embroidery, and even footwear speak volumes about who the person is and where they come from.


Note: Specific cultural experiences will depend on the location and duration chosen for the summit.

Customize / Enquire About This Program

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